Skip to main content

Indonesia

Volume 406: debated on Thursday 12 June 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to Indonesia about the use of UK arms in Aceh; [118432](2) what representations Her Majesty's Government have made to Indonesia about the use of UK-produced Hawk jets in Aceh. [118433]

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend, the Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) today (UIN 118135, 118139 and 118140).

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the policy on arms sales to Indonesia has changed since 2001; and what the current policy is. [118434]

All export licence applications are rigorously assessed on a case by case basis against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria taking account of the circumstances prevailing at the time and other announced Government policies. Our criteria clearly set out our commitment to take account of the risk that exports might be used for either internal repression or external aggression.On the situation regarding sales to Indonesia, I refer my right hon. Friend to the answers I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Islington North (Jeremy Corbyn) today (UIN 118135, 118138, 118139 and 118140).

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what discussions he has had with the Indonesian government this year concerning the use by the Indonesian armed forces of military equipment exported by the UK; and if he will make a statement about the UK's future relations with the Indonesian armed forces; [118135](2) what reports he has received concerning the use of military equipment exported from the UK in military operations in Aceh, Indonesia; and what measures he has taken to ensure that the equipment is used in compliance with guarantees given by the Indonesian government; [118139](3) what representations he has made to the government of Indonesia concerning the use of Hawk aircraft in Aceh; and if he will make a statement. [118140]

I visited Indonesia on 3–4 June 2003, and raised the issue of British-supplied military equipment with President Megawati and senior members of the Indonesian government. I reminded them of the assurances about the use of British-supplied military equipment in Aceh, and warned of the possible consequences for defence sales and defence relationships if there was a breach of the assurances. I also stressed that Indonesian military action in Aceh should be proportionate and in accordance with international standards on human rights.The Indonesian government confirmed that British-supplied Hawk aircraft were used in Aceh on 19 May 2003 but claimed they were not used in violation of the assurances. We will be using all available sources of information to monitor the use of British-supplied equipment and will follow up all credible allegations on the misuse of British-military equipment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what changes have been made since May 1997 to guarantees given by the Indonesian government concerning the use of military equipment exported from the UK; and what guarantees apply to the use of such equipment. [118138]

Before August 2002 the Indonesian government provided assurances that British-supplied military equipment would not be used in Aceh, or be used anywhere in Indonesia against civilians to prevent the exercise of their rights of free expression, assembly and association of other international human rights standards. The Indonesian government added that if, against expectations, they were to contemplate the use of such equipment in Aceh at a later stage they would inform the British government in advance.In August 2002 the British Government received advance notification from the Indonesian government that they may deploy British-built military equipment to Aceh for casualty removal and logistics. Hawk jets do not perform these tasks. Ministers agreed in September 2002 to fresh assurances that British-built military equipment would not be used to violate human rights anywhere in Indonesia nor would the equipment be used offensively.The assurances apply to all British-supplied military equipment. I emphasised the continuing importance we attach to the assurances during my recent visit to Indonesia.